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Dangerous site for new elementary school

By Robert “Bo” Fean
September 13, 2012

Can somebody please explain to me why in the world most members of the Delaware Valley School District Board would want to build a new elementary school on the same property as an aging 24-inch high-pressure gas transmission line, with the possibility of an additional 30-inch high-pressure gas transmission to follow, all on the same site?

I can’t imagine what led them to vote that way. Some will say it’s safe; I, for one, beg to differ. I am not a gas safety expert, but I can tell you this much, that is a real bad place to build an elementary school, putting your children, grandchildren, teachers and staff in such a high-risk location where you will have no choice but to send them where the only access is located immediately parallel to the same gas transmission line(s).

In a day and age where we won’t allow our children to ride a bike without wrapping them in bubble wrap, the DVSD board proposes to build a new school on top of a volcano. I am writing this letter not only as a public official, mayor of Milford Borough, but as a grandfather of two young boys who will be forced to go there if it’s built. That scares the heck out of me.

I worked in heavy highway construction for over 30 years and have seen all kinds of accidents, and know that when they happen, the outcome is usually not good. Why would the school board want to put our children in harm’s way? I can’t believe that there’s not a better building site than this one.

I can only imagine how happy the local real estate broker (one of the three owners of the property, according to state and county records) was when unloading a piece of property with a major gas transmission line running through it. I’m guessing, but that might be why it was not sold and developed sooner. Then here comes the DVSD board wanting to build a school on it; hard to believe, but true.

I can’t help but think that building a school on a high pressure gas transmission will affect property values in the Milford area. What young family would want to buy a house in the DVSD and have to send their children to school knowing what’s beneath it? I am not here to discuss whether or not we need a new school, only the location. We are lucky to live in an area where we have a great school district with great educators, people who care, but in my opinion the school board is wrong on this one.

If any parents, grandparents, or anybody else feels the same way I do, I suggest you attend the Milford Township Supervisors meeting September 17 at 7 p.m., when the school district will attempt to get the approval of the Milford Township Supervisors, and express your feelings.